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U.S. Supreme Court

Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. v. Koppal, 345 U.S. 653 (1953)

Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc. v. Koppal

No. 509

Argued April 8-9, 1953

Decided June 1, 1953

345 U.S. 653


A discharged employee of a carrier that was subject to the Railway Labor Act, claiming diversity of citizenship and the requisite jurisdictional amount, brought in a federal district court in Missouri an action under Missouri law for wrongful discharge. He failed to show that he had exhausted the administrative remedies prescribed by his employment contract. The employment contract was a Missouri contract, and the administrative remedies prescribed therein were consistent with the Railway Labor Act.

Held: the District Court properly dismissed the complaint. Pp. 345 U. S. 654-662.

(a) A discharged employee of a carrier that is subject to the Railway Labor Act is not precluded by that Act from resorting to a state-recognized cause of action for wrongful discharge. Pp. 345 U. S. 660-662.

(b) In an action under state law for wrongful discharge, brought by a discharged employee of a carrier that is subject to the Railway Labor Act, the employee must show that he has exhausted his administrative remedies under his contract of employment, if the applicable state law so requires. Pp. 345 U. S. 654-657, 345 U. S. 660-662.

( c) Under the law of Missouri, a discharged employee who brings an action against his employer for wrongful discharge must show exhaustion of administrative remedies under his employment contract in order to sustain his cause of action. Pp. 345 U. S. 657-660.

199 F.2d 117 reversed.

In an action brought by respondent against petitioner, based on diversity of citizenship, the District Court set aside a verdict for respondent and dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings. 199 F.2d 117. This Court granted a limited certiorari. 344 U.S. 933. Reversed and remanded, p. 345 U. S. 662.

Page 345 U. S. 654

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